Say ‘goodbye’ to AOL Instant Messenger. Among other things.

America Online’s Instant Messenger — better known to younger Gen-Xers like myself as AIM — is reportedly going away after 20 years.

“What?!,” you’re undoubtedly saying aghast, “AIM is still a thing?”

It is for a couple more months, anyway. Dec. 15, the chat window that revolutionized digital communication and paved the way for things like Facebook Messenger, will be no more.

I had a number of AIM sign-in names as a high school senior in 1997 and then as a college student in the following years, but I think my favorites, in hindsight, were EspressoSmurf and Icetopia. Because those are the types of sign-in names you give yourself when you’re a teenager.

Also, while we’re on the subject of things going away, this will be your last edition of The Express evening newsletter for a while. It’s been a good run, but we have to put it on the shelf for a bit.

Thank you for reading for the last year or so, and if you like getting Maine news delivered to your inbox every day, please do sign up for another of the BDN’s regular newsletters by clicking here. And here is the Daily Brief newsletter, which delivers news on Maine politics each morning.

What we’re talking about

Proponents of a new casino in York County have sunk another $1.8 million into their campaign in less than two months, the BDN’s Michael Shepherd is reporting. About $575,000 of that money was spent with a D.C. consulting group credited with helping engineer the so-called “Brexit” campaign, in which voters in the United Kingdom ultimately decided they wanted to leave the European Union.

The landmark Time and Temperature Building in downtown Portland is losing tenants and falling into disrepair, according to a report by the Portland Press Herald’s J. Craig Anderson, and people are openly wondering why the owner just won’t sell it and let someone else renovate it.

Utah apparel maker KUHL is suing iconic Maine outdoor retailer L.L. Bean, alleging that Bean’s latest ad campaign, “Be An Outsider,” infringes upon the Utah company’s ownership of the term “Outsider,” which it uses for a certain style of pants. A Bean spokeswoman told the BDN’s Lori Valigra that, while she won’t comment on pending litigation, the Maine company believes it’s well within its rights to use “Be An Outsider” in its campaign.

TransCanada Corp. is spiking a controversial plan to build an oil pipeline from the western part of Canada to the Atlantic Coast, causing buzz about how that would affect a potentially related plan to reverse the flow of the pipeline connecting South Portland to Montreal. The Portland Press Herald reports that South Portland, which has fought the pipeline reversal for environmental reasons, is considering new court action against the pipeline company, but not until they figure out how TransCanada Corp.’s announcement changes things. If at all.

The lawyer representing the former Kennebunk High School teacher accused of sexually assaulting a student characterized the allegations against her as “the sexual fantasies of a 17-year-old.” The attorney said client Jill Lamontagne, 29, “categorically denies the charges,” the York County Coast Star’s Donna Buttarazzi said.

Tweet of the day

From Only In Boston:

Bill is clearly thrilled with the New England Patriots’ 19-14 victory over Tampa Bay last night.

The Big Idea

Despite the prevalence of “repressed memories” of trauma being used by Hollywood as a plot device, psychologists say there’s actually little or no empirical evidence it’s a thing, and at least one author who has exhaustively researched the subject says the continued belief in repressed memories is heavily damaging to people who have become convinced the such repression is covering up abuse in their own lives. In an interview with Discover magazine, Mark Pendergrast explains: “For many years, we sort of swept child abuse under the rug, and it’s good that it’s out in the open now. I certainly am not trying to say that child abuse is not a problem. It is. You remember it. You might not talk about it. There might be people who are ashamed or don’t want to talk about it. You might not want to think about it, or try to push it your of your mind, but you don’t completely forget it happened.”

Got any interesting story ideas, suggestions or links to share? Email Jake Bleiberg at, or tweet @JZBleiberg.

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